MORE THAN I CAN ASK OR IMAGINE:
TO FOLLOW ALONG WITH MY LATEST ADVENTURES BEHIND THE CAMERA,
VISIT MY BLOG!
Some say that photography is ‘painting with light’. I was taught in art school, you must SEE the light in order to capture it. I agree, however, photography for me has been about much more than just creating pretty pictures. Photography has changed me in the way that it has opened me up to witness the beauty in every person, place and thing that surrounds me. Witnessing raw beauty is a blessing- free to anyone who is willing to take the time to notice. Seeing light in everyone, and listening to the story that needs to be told- that is what I want to do. My desire is not only to experience these moments, but more importantly to connect with others and share beauty, light, and joy through photography. I specialize in capturing people and their passions. I didn't always know that this was my calling though. It has taken me 7 years to get to this point, and still I am growing and learning something new every day.
I began my journey with photography when I was in high school. I loved everything creative so naturally, art was my favorite class. My art teacher guided me to apply at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, only 2 hours from the little farm town where I grew up in Ohio. Upon graduating I was awarded "Best in Show" with a 2 year degree in Photography. I had learned technical skills of equipment and lighting as well as an extensive understanding on film photography, darkroom printing, parallel parking and bus schedules. City-life had taken it's toll on my serenity. I was ready to start my career, but wanted to settle down somewhere with a small-town feel.
I moved to Charleston, SC and began working full-time at a local, family-owned photography studio. While working at the studio I gained experience in photographing weddings, corporate events, families, babies, and children. I gained experience in sales, marketing, HR, production, editing, computer software setup, and customer service. I was promoted to sales manager, then studio manager and then to director of operations. The most valuable skills I learned though were in working with others, managing responsibilities, and finding my truth. After almost 6 years, I decided that it was time to pivot direction in order to stay in line with my personal goals. It was a bitter sweet shift and it lead me to start my own photography business.
In November of 2015 I accepted a flexible part-time job as a dog mascot so that I could focus my energy on my freelance photography. In some ways at first it felt like I was starting all over again. Truly though, that dog costume was an answer to so many prayers. I began selling my landscape photography prints, and branched out to explore a wider range of event photography, product, food, and magazine photography as well as some video projects. This exploration journey was what helped me define what it was that I felt passionate about. I enjoy people. Connecting with others is what fuels me, and it's where I know I can be of maximum service to help others. I don't want to just go through life trying to achieve just for the sake of achieving. I want to help and inspire people. If each day I am able to help one person through photography, through dressing up as a dog, or any other way, then the day was a success. If I can help others on their journey of self-discovery, or encourage them, or bring them joy or light or love- then I know I am on the path that was designed for me.
The doors that have opened since I took that leap of faith still astound me. In 2016 I was published in 3 magazines, and had the opportunity to photograph several celebrities (some of which were my favorite music artists!). I connected with people who have faced death, overcome adversity and found faith. I have been a witness to love, passion, strength, and beauty. And this is only the beginning. I can't wait to see what adventures God has planned for me, and how his plan will continue to unfold!
GET TO KNOW ME
Copyright © Melissa Miley Photography. All rights reserved.
THE LEAP OF FAITH:
HONING MY CRAFT:
IN THE BEGINNING: